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OVERCOMING DIRE ODDS IN AFGHANISTAN:
LEMOYNE, Penn., May 22, 2008 – Consider the state of women’s health care in Afghanistan:
This is the tragic situation that U.S.-based CURE International is trying to improve with medical education training programs for local medical personnel, training them not only to serve patients with quality health care, but also to step into leadership roles in improving the national health care system.
CURE International’s hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, has made major strides in providing quality health care in a nation with some of the highest maternal and infant death rates in the world. As part of its initiative to reduce mortality rates, it began an ob-gyn fellowship program to bring Afghan healthcare worker’s skills and training up to that of Western standards.
The second class of graduates from this program will be honored in a ceremony in Kabul on June 7 and distinguished guests will include the Afghan Minister of Public Health, Dr. Sayed Amin Fatemie. In addition, graduates from CURE’s family practice residency will also be recognized.
Upon graduation, ob-gyn fellows become qualified as “Specialist Trainers” in Afghanistan and return to national health care institutions to train less experienced doctors in the coursework they have just completed, thus multiplying the impact of the program.
In addition to training less experienced physicians in best practices, it is estimated that these doctors will serve at least 5,000 female patients annually. Within a year of graduation, these female physicians will offer more than 25,000 Afghan women access to quality care. This is significant in a country where only 14 percent of women previously have had access to a skilled attendant during childbirth. In addition, these physicians now serve on task forces and committees that help shape their country’s health care policies.
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CURE International transforms the lives of disabled children and their families in the developing world through medical and spiritual healing, serving all by establishing specialty teaching hospitals, building partnerships, and advocating for these children. For more information on CURE visit www.cureinternational.org. To date, CURE has spent more than $11 million in Afghanistan, with several million more from U.S. AID and in-kind medical supply donations.
NOTE TO EDITORS: To schedule an interview with a representative of CURE International, or make plans to attend the graduation on June 7, please contact Melany Ethridge at 01.972.267.1111 or [email protected].
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